Maserati has preceded the launch of its all-new MC20 sports car with the introduction of a pair of 202mph, Trofeo-badged super saloons in the form of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. Using the same 580hp, Ferrari-built V8 as the Levante Trofeo, the new cars each send drive exclusively rearwards through a ZF eight-speed auto, which contrasts with the prevalence of four-wheel drive in most rivals. We've known since driving the Levante Trofeo last year that this 3.8-litre is one of the best engines out there; coupling it to rear-drive bases should up the excitement even more.
Certainly, the prospect of the twin-turbo motor being used in lighter, sleeker saloons is an encouraging one. The smallest of the Trofeo trio, the Ghibli is the quicker new arrival, with that 580hp and 538lb ft of torque giving it a 4.3 second 0-62mph time. The Quattroporte, which at 2,000kg and 5260mm is 31kg heavier and 291mm longer than the Ghibli, needs two extra tenths, but it reaches the same 202mph top speed as the smaller Ghibli. Not only do they get to join the 200mph club, they are officially Maserati's fastest saloons yet.
We know from the Levante that the on-paper performance barely tells half the story of the powertrain's talents; we're happy to report that Maserati's Ferrari-aping, extended gear shift paddles are carried over to the Trofeo saloons, too. The chassis also gets the same trick electronics as the top Levante, with Maserati's Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) system and Corsa button there to gradually ramp up the dynamic freedoms from a point of relative safety to a full unassisted setting. Also carried over is the Trofeo Launch Control tech, helping to achieve the quoted sprint time and giving new owners something to brag about in the pub.
The settings also tweak the Ghibli and Quattroporte damping, with Corsa mode providing the firmest ride. If the Levante's anything to go by, though, Maserati won't necessarily go full track-spec with this setting; its customers are less inclined to drive their cars on circuit and tend to prefer a slightly more forgiving ride. We're expecting this characteristic to remain in the pair of Trofeo newcomers. Albeit with the hair-raising vocals and inherent performance of proper super saloons; the 3.8-litre stands strong as one of the best sounding and most exciting thrilling currently in production. We love it.
Maserati has also tweaked the exterior and interior designs of its top saloon cars. But the work is discreet, with a slightly different front grille design, 21-inch wheels and bigger air intakes the biggest giveaways to the heightened muscle - along, of course, with the selection of more vibrant colours offered in the Trofeo palette. The launch cars are finished in the shades of the Italian flag, naturally. Inside, they're bearing Maserati's latest infotainment tech; the saloons get bigger 10.1-inch screens, while the Levante's 8.4-inch display has received sharper graphics.
Let's face it, though, buyers of these cars are unlikely to be swayed by the tech on board. Both Ghibli and Quattroporte are nowhere near the level of digitisation offered in German rivals. Maserati wins fans with its still partially analogue cabins, as well as the personalities and designs of its cars - and the appeal of two new super saloons powered by a Ferrari-made V8 needs little justification. Expect the appeal to grow further still when the bespoke MC20 arrives to inject a bit of halo dust on the entire Maserati range later this summer. Things look to be shaping up rather nicely in Modena.
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